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Aquatic ecology of the Elwha River estuary prior to dam removal: Chapter 7 in Coastal habitats of the Elwha River, Washington--biological and physical patterns and processes prior to dam removal

Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5120-7

This report is Chapter 7 in Coastal habitats of the Elwha River, Washington--biological and physical patterns and processes prior to dam removal. For more information, see: Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5120
By:
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Edited by:
Jeffrey J. Duda, Jonathan A. Warrick, Christopher S. Magirl

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Abstract

The removal of two long-standing dams on the Elwha River in Washington State will initiate a suite of biological and physical changes to the estuary at the river mouth. Estuaries represent a transition between freshwater and saltwater, have unique assemblages of plants and animals, and are a critical habitat for some salmon species as they migrate to the ocean. This chapter summarizes a number of studies in the Elwha River estuary, and focuses on physical and biological aspects of the ecosystem that are expected to change following dam removal. Included are data sets that summarize (1) water chemistry samples collected over a 16 month period; (2) beach seining activities targeted toward describing the fish assemblage of the estuary and migratory patterns of juvenile salmon; (3) descriptions of the aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate communities in the estuary, which represent an important food source for juvenile fish and are important water quality indicators; and (4) the diet and growth patterns of juvenile Chinook salmon in the lower Elwha River and estuary. These data represent baseline conditions of the ecosystem after nearly a century of changes due to the dams and will be useful in monitoring the changes to the river and estuary following dam removal.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Aquatic ecology of the Elwha River estuary prior to dam removal: Chapter 7 in Coastal habitats of the Elwha River, Washington--biological and physical patterns and processes prior to dam removal
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2011-5120-7
Year Published:
2011
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Western Fisheries Research Center
Description:
50 p.
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
First page:
175
Last page:
224
Country:
United States
State:
Washington
Other Geospatial:
Elwha River